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Motivation Article


10 Action Steps to Motivate Yourself to Success in Life

By Ed Sykes


The following are ten motivation action steps you can take to motivate yourself in work, business, and life:


1.     Positive Affirmations for Success

Our subconscious mind is a wonderful tool for success or failure.  It will do what we tell it to do.  It all depends on what thoughts we feed it.  So why not feed your inner mind with only positive thoughts.  The following are some examples of positive affirmations you can feed your inner mind for success:

§         “Today, I will win because I have faith, courage and enthusiasm.”

§         “I see failure only as a signpost on my road to success.”

§         “When I feel stress, I will relax and release my stress before I take on my next task.”

§         “I always write down my priorities, thinking of my responsibilities.  I may not get everything done, but I will do the most productive thing possible at every given moment.”

§         “I am a winner, I work for a winning organization, and because of my contribution and cooperation we will keep on winning.”

§         “Today, I will see opportunity in every challenge offered to me.”

2.     Positive Language for Success

Recent research has come out that 75% of daily conversation is negative.  Whether it is the words we use or the body language, we need to communicate in a positive manner all the time.

The following are some examples of how you can turn negative words into positive communication:

§         Instead of saying “problem,” call it “opportunity.”

§         Instead of an action being a “failure,” describe it as a “learning experience.”

§         Instead of “I have to,” say “I choose to.”  This gives control for your actions back to you.

§         Instead of saying, “There’s nothing I can do,” say, “Let’s look at our alternatives.”

§         Instead of saying, “That’s just the way I am,” say, “I choose a different approach.”

§         Instead of saying, “He makes me so mad,” say, “I control my own feelings.”

If you notice, by using the positive response, you have control over your actions and life.

3.     Exercise for Success

A Gallup survey found the following among men and women who have taken up exercise recently:

§         66 percent report a more relaxed life

§         62 percent a new surge of energy

§         55 percent less stress

§         51 percent better looks

§         46 percent more confidence

§         45 percent better love life

§         44 percent greater job satisfaction

§         37 percent more creative on their jobs


These are great motivators to exercise!  Next time you feel demotivated, give your body a workout.  Recent research reports that as little as fifteen minutes three times a week has profound effects.  Get moving.  Get motivated.

4.     Take Risks for Success

We all live our lives in comforts zones, avoiding risky situations, avoiding the potential to fail.  It’s real safe for us.  But in order to get ahead of your competition and master the ongoing change in your life, you must go out of your comfort zone.  Start one step at a time.  Try that little new thing, that different approach.  It could be as simple as taking different routes to and from work.  Once in a while I like to “take the road less traveled” to stir up my creative juices.  Then, keep stepping out of your zone.  It may seem uncomfortable at first.  But the more you do it, the more it will seem natural and you will see an increase in your creative juices and opportunities you never thought about before.

5.     Positive Reading for Success

Read about the lives of successful people.  Make sure you read only those people that embrace the timeless values that make them truly successful through the ages.  Not the “success today, scandal tomorrow” success stories that we are experiencing today.  People like Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines, Fred Smith of Federal Express, Mary Kay Ash of Mary Kay, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are good examples. These are people who overcame enormous challenges, created real value for others, or changed other people’s lives for the better.


6.     Positive Visualizations for Success

Condition yourself to paint your vision for success.  One of the best ways to do this is the following:


§         Go to a quiet place in your home or elsewhere.  Turn off all radios, televisions, etc.

§         Find a comfortable chair and get into a relaxed state of mind.

§         Start thinking about one goal you want to accomplish.  Remember, visualize as if you are already accomplishing this goal.

§         Visualize taking all the necessary steps to successfully complete these goals.  The better your visualization, where you can actually see, feel, hear, and touch your vision, the more real it is to you.

§         Visualize any challenges to your successful completion of this goal and how you will eliminate this challenges.

§         Visualize how good it feels to complete this goal.  Visualize what benefits it will bring to you, your family, friends, co-workers, etc.  Enjoy the moment!


Important:  If you don’t take time to see it, it won’t happen!


7.     Think Big for Success

See the big picture in everything we do.  So much of our time is wasted dealing with the unimportant things in our lives (what that person said or did, the driver who cut us off this morning, and activities which don’t add value to our lives, etc.) that we forget about the big picture.  We were put on this earth to make a difference. We make a difference for our families, our communities, our organizations, and for ourselves.  All of our actions must be put into action with this concept in mind.  Think a little bigger today than yesterday, and you’ll create a better future tomorrow.  Thinking big leads to great actions.  Thinking small leads to small results.  So Think BIG!


8.     Set Goals for Success

The fastest way to fail in life is to not set clear goals.  Set goals in the financial, family, health, spiritual, and career areas.  Your goals must incorporate the SMART techniques or else it’s just a “conversation in the park.”


§         S for specific

§         M for measurable

§         A for attainable

§         R for realistic

§         T for time-based


For example, you might have a goal of achieving $2 million for retirement in twenty years.  After doing your research, a SMART goal would be the following:


“I will acquire $2 million dollars for retirement by 2024.  I will do this by contributing $20K, or $1667 per month, to my various retirement funds each year.  Of the $20k each year, $2k will go to my IRA, and $18K will go into my organization’s retirement program.”


Remember the most detail you can add, the more realistic your goal becomes.


9.     Positive Appearance for Success

Super achievers are very careful about their appearance and their movements.  They know that looking good translates into feeling good.  Billy Crystal, of Saturday Night Live and movie fame, once played a character that was known for saying, “It is better to look good than to feel good.”  What he was really implying was the “fake it until you make it” concept.  In other words, if we are feeling down, then think positively and your mind will tell your body to follow suit and act positively.  Also always dress the part of an achiever.  Model the dress, actions, and behaviors of someone who is successful and embraces the long term values of successful people. This will also tell your mind that I am an achiever.


Don’t let that be the deciding factor on being motivated.  You can easily distinguish those who are motivated from those who are not motivated just by looking at their appearance and their movements.  The motivated move forward, onward and upward with confidence.


10. Helping Others for Success

Develop an obsession to help others.  Share your special talents without expecting a reward, payment, or commendation.  And above all else, keep your good deed a secret.


You know what, it you apply the helping techniques to others, it will automatically come back to you tenfold in a number of ways.  First, the enjoyment of knowing that a special talent you had made someone else’s life better.  Second, because you didn’t seek it, word will spread about you and your deeds.  This will be translated into unexpected riches and opportunities.  Third, you will gain a new level of confidence in knowing that you can make a difference.  Super achievers find motivation and meaning by helping others.



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Additional Motivation Reading Resources:

Are You Singing Your Song of Success? Five Secrets to Following Your Dreams and Achieving More Success in Your Life

Leadership Starts with Tough Decisions:  Five Leadership Skills for Outstanding Team Building


JumpStart Your Employee Motivation: Ten Motivation Secrets to Empower Your Team

Appreciate to Motivate (The Key to Successful Team Building)

 The Secret to Living Your Dreams: Five Success Techniques to Achieving More Success in Your Life!

Seven Change Management Secrets to Creating a Winning Culture of Change
Are You Building Your Foundation of Success: Six Secrets of Motivating Yourself for Success

Employee Motivation, Don Imus, and Team Building: Five Secrets of Motivated Teams

Motivate Your Customer Service Team for Outstanding Customer Service: Six Secrets of Customer Service Motivation

Life Before Downsizing: Six Secrets to Managing Change and Creating Opportunities for the Future

Success Starts with a Can Do Attitude: Three Secrets to Creating More Success

Coaching: How to Succeed in Half the Time Using a Personal Coach

Leadership Techniques for Anyone: How Kermit Shared Five Leadership Secrets with the World

Eight Leadership Techniques for Outstanding Teams

Motivate Your Team! Eight Quick Tips to Motivate for Success

Adversity: Your Seed of Greatness (Three Secrets to Using Adversity to Become Great)

Connect the Dots! Your Roadmap for Success

Every Super Hero Needs Theme Music. What’s Yours?

Seven Secrets to Being the Leader Everyone Wants to Follow

Have You Appreciated Someone Today?

Nine Ways Johnny Carson Can Help You Run Outstanding Meetings

Five Secrets to Gaining Credibility with Your Team for Outstanding Results

How Appetizing Is Your Feedback? (5 Steps to Giving Effective Feedback)

Ten Techniques for Motivating Others Through Chaos

Eight Ways to Motivate Part-Time Employees

Delegate to Accelerate Success (How to Prepare Yourself and Others for Success)

The Greatest Gift of All - The Gift of Empowerment

Leadership Secrets for Challenging Times

Goal Setting Secrets to Jumpstart Your Life


Want to learn how to be a motivated achiever? Our Master Your Attitude, Team Building, Life After Downsizing, How to Develop the Leader Within You, Time Management Skills to Achieve More, and How to Handle Workplace Stress and Master Your Life programs can help you lead others to the next level.  Also read our articles on motivation, goal setting, etc. Call us at 757-427-7032 or e-mail us at

Ed Sykes is a professional speaker published in the areas of leadership, change management, customer service and teamwork. He works with business and government organizations who want to reach the next level of success and individuals who want to perform at their best. You can email him at, call him at (757) 427-7032 or visit his Web site at



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Last modified:
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